The Photography Show 2015

What an exciting week that was. We were at The Photography Show 2015 at the NEC from Saturday 21st to Tuesday 24th and it was a ROARING success. This is my first opportunity to sit down and write up a review of the show from our perspective. I hope it helps you get a feel for the show if you didn’t attend yourself, or brings back warm memories if you did.

Doors open...
Doors open…

The Fujifilm stand

…or “booth” if you’re from that side of the Atlantic. We had a big stand this year – about twice the size as last year – and even still we found it packed to the rafters most of the time.

Touch and Try

Everyone wants to get their hands on the latest cameras and lenses and the Touch and Try camera bar allowed people to do just that. Our staff worked extremely hard to answers all the questions thrown at them from the show visitors.

Visitors getting their hands on Fujifilm cameras
Visitors getting their hands on Fujifilm cameras
Our Dale talking about the X-T1
Our Dale talking about the X-T1
Something to point your camera at...
Something to point your camera at…

Camera loans

We know that there’s nothing quite like using a camera to get a real feel for it so we wanted to offer people the chance to test-drive Fujifilm X-T1 cameras plus various lenses for the whole day. Our free loan service allowed people to do just that and went down a storm.

camera-loans

Quick Maintenance Service

And it’s not only the new customers we were helping out. We were also running a free Quick Maintenance Service which allowed people to drop off their Fujifilm cameras and lenses for a sensor clean, quick MOT and to also have the latest firmware installed.

A Fujifilm camera getting some TLC
A Fujifilm camera getting some TLC

X-Photographer Gallery

All around our stand we were showing some amazing images taken by professional photographers that use Fujifilm equipment. Take a look at the gallery below:

Fujifilm Photowalk

On Saturday evening we took to the streets of Birmingham for a Street Photowalk with Matt Hart leading the way. We met up in Victoria Square and Matt shared a few of the tips he mentioned in his talk earlier that day before setting off to try to put some of the techniques into action. It was a great experience and was fantastic to meet so many people to talk to along the way.

You can see some other blog posts about the event here:

Matt Hart’s #FujiTPSWalk blog
Mirrorlessons #FujiTPSWalk blog
Dave Young’s blog

photowalk-meet

photowalk-group

photowalk-damien

photowalk-group2

Talks

To me, the talks are one of the parts of the show that really make it a great place for visitors. Lots of different photographers from lots of different backgrounds, all under one roof and sharing their own experiences, tips, hints and advice about the widest variety of photographic subjects. We were able to invite a few of our ambassadors to come to the show and pass on their thoughts to visitors.

Here is a bit about each of the Fujifilm X-Photographers. We also recorded the talks and will publish them soon.

Matt Hart – Street Photography

Matt was on the Streetscape stage on Saturday and Sunday. He has been a professional photographer for many years and still likes to shoot film. He runs workshops and hosts talks and training to help people become better reportage-street photographers. In his presentation, Matt gave lots of helpful advice and techniques for shooting street photography. He talked about the distinction between “Street photography” and “Street portraiture” and believes that true street photography involves images captured without the subject being aware.

Matt’s talk can be found here.

Matt describing the gear he uses for his street photography
Matt describing the gear he uses for his street photography
Lots of people turned up to listen to Matt's talk
Lots of people turned up to listen to Matt’s talk

Matt's talk will be uploaded for your viewing pleasure soon

Visit Matt Hart’s website here

Bert Stephani – commercial portrait photography

Bert is a commercial portrait photographer from Belgium. He believes that photographers need to limit the barrier between them and their subjects and part of doing this is to have smaller gear. Bert gave a brief talk about his own style of photography, what he used to be like and what he tries to be like now, before then doing a live portrait shoot on stage. On Monday he was shooting the lovely Hannah from Fuji and on Tuesday the equally lovely Jeannie (also from Fuji).

Bert Stephani talking on The Live Stage to a huge audience
Bert Stephani talking on The Live Stage to a huge audience
Bert Stephani live demo shooting the lovely Hannah from Fujifilm UK
Bert Stephani live demo shooting the lovely Hannah from Fujifilm UK
Hannah from Fujifilm UK, shot by Bert live on stage
Hannah from Fujifilm UK, shot by Bert live on stage
Bert likes to use whatever (and whoever) he can to block out disturbing coloured lights.
Bert likes to use whatever (and whoever) he can to block out disturbing coloured lights.
From left to right, Kevin Mullins, Hannah from Fuji and me

Visit Bert Stephani’s website here

Kevin Mullins – reportage wedding photography

Kevin is a professional wedding photography from Wiltshere. His style is very much reportage. He wants to provide his clients a “guest’s eye view” of their happy day capturing images that shows the real human events that take place at every wedding. In Kevin’s talk he focused on the importance of identifying potential moments and ensuring he can be in the right place to capture them without disturbing them.

Behind the Lens talk with Kevin Mullins
Behind the Lens talk with Kevin Mullins
Kevin Mullins
Kevin Mullins
Packed house. Lots of people wanted to hear what Kevin had to say
Packed house. Lots of people wanted to hear what Kevin had to say

Visit Kevin Mullin’s website here

Paul Sanders – landscape photography

Paul Sanders is a professional landscape photographer from Kent. His talk is about the way he used landscape photography as a form of therapy to help deal with his own personal emotional issues. It was very deep, personal and inspirational and it’s hard for me to give it any justice here in form of a brief text description. Check back for the video which we will upload soon.

As my camera was being used to shoot the video footage, here ars some lovely images by Anthony Upton who was also at the talk.

Paul Sanders-1181 Paul Sanders-1227

Visit Paul Sanders’ website here

Don’t forget to follow this blog as we’ll use it to let you know when the videos of all of the talks will be online.

Until next year?

It really was a great few days and the best part is always getting the opportunity to meet so many photographers from keen enthusiasts right through to full-time working professionals. The Photography Show organisers have confirmed next year’s dates already – 19th-22nd March 2016. We hope to see you there!

WARNING TCL-X100 causes more X100 series love

I was lucky enough to receive the TCL-X100 for Christmas and have barely had it off my X100s since. My beloved X100s goes with me everywhere and this is why it is probably my favourite camera. Though the TCL does make it far less ‘pocketable’, it doesn’t detract from the enjoyable shooting experience. The jump from 35mm to 50mm equiv. doesn’t sound like much but it does change how you shoot with this camera. It is definitely better for portraits, where the narrower angle of view helps to isolate a subject.

TCL-3
This isn’t the best example, but if this was taken without the TCL then you would see a lot more of the barn, which might distract from the dog. For some reason I seem to have used lots of dog pictures as examples!

In terms of how this affects image quality and auto focus, I haven’t really noticed any difference, the images are still coming out wonderfully and auto focus doesn’t seem to have been affected in real world situations.

What is nice about this converter is that it is so simple, no electronics, just a well made metal barrel filled with beautiful glass. This is nice as it doesn’t add anymore complexity to X100 series shooting, which is so wonderfully simple and intuitive. Combined with the WCL-X100, this gives you a lens set up option of 28mm, 35mm or 50mm equiv. focal length, giving this little package a whole lot of usage options.

TCL-4

Though the original joy of the X100 series is that it is a fixed lens, the ability to simply screw on an adapter for a wider or narrower lens option makes this a really flexible set up.

TCL-6

The XF35mm F1.4 is a gorgeous lens but the benefit of using the TCL-X100 over the 35mm for portraits, especially using lights, is the leaf shutter which gives me flash syncing up to 1/1000 second! Yes I lose a stop from F1.4-F2, but generally for low light situations when working I would have the XF23mm F1.4 and the XF56mm F1.2 because they are wonderfully fast and sharp. I’m sure there are people who will still prefer the XF35mm F1.4 over this converter but for me it is going to replace it.

TCL

Have you had a go with the TCL-X100? If so then let us know what you think of it. Any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

 

The gear that keeps on giving

The above image was taken with the X-T1 which had recently had a firmware update to make it compatible with the XF18-135mm lens which was used to obtain this shot, via the remote control feature and a monopod.

I remember when I first approached Fujifilm UK with the idea of testing their equipment in the jungles of Borneo. My intention was to rely on the X-Series to document my trip, which had a heavy focus on nature. Unfortunately at the time the X-Pro1 and X-E1 weren’t quite up to the speeds I required to use this system exclusively. If I had done this trip in 2014, oh how things would be different. Not purely because of the wonderful X-T1 but because of the firmware improvements made to the X-Pro1 and other cameras.

These firmware updates are so much more than simply updating cameras to optimise their usability with lenses launched more recently. If you look at this link you can see the timeline of improvements made to the X-Pro1, from large improvements like auto focus performance and better “single-hand” settings operability to extra functions being added like focus peaking for manual focusing. Below shows a screen grab with some of latest firmware updates for the X-Pro1.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 12.48.48

It wasn’t just the flagship model which gained firmware upgrades; the X-E1 had much the same improvements and the X100 had an autofocus improvement that meant that it was in fact the ongoing firmware updates that were the most spoken about thing of this camera, instead of the previously poor autofocus. Further down the line, the X-E2 has had the refresh rate of its EVF improved to the very high standard of the X-T1. The X-A1 and X-M1 can now both wirelessly transfer pictures to the brilliant SP1 printer for near-instant prints.

Now the X-T1 is set for a major firmware update. The Internet has been buzzing with excitement around the new features that are integrated into the X100T and X-T1 graphite edition. Other than the wonderful 6-part creation of the graphite finish, this new version has some very exciting software improvements. The first headline feature is the new Classic Chrome JPEG film simulation that’s blowing everyone’s mind with its unique style that’s so different from the other film simulations available.

The second feature is the crazy electronic shutter toping out at 1/32000! For those of you using the fast prime lenses at F1.2 and F1.4, this opens up a huge realm of creativity. Only recently I had to juggle a neutral density filter between the XF23mm F1.4 and XF56mm F1.2 while exploring sunny Lisbon to take full advantage of the thin depth of field on offer. This new feature will make this a thing of the past, one less thing to have to worry about. The benefits of the electronic shutter don’t stop there – being electronic there are no moving parts to generate noise meaning it is truly silent shooting. This has always been one of the big factors that has made the X100s such a joy to use to quiet situations, a factor that often meant I would lean towards the X100s series instead of the X-T1.

Lisbon

Taken in the centre of Lisbon using an ND filter so I could use f1.2.

These aren’t the only updates to look forward to, as there are many many more features due to happen in a December firmware overhaul:

  • 4-way controller AF selection
  • Changeable focus area during MF
  • Q menu customization
  • Interlocking AF and metering points
  • Unlocked AE-L/AF-L buttons
  • Direct selection of macro mode
  • Phase detection AF support for instant AF
  • Expansion of shutter speed in Program Shift mode
  • Manual shooting in video mode
  • New video frame rates

These all look like great improvements as the X-Series continues to evolve into an increasingly refined camera system, appealing to an increasingly wide genre. Notably for action/fast paced photography, the addition of the 4-way controller being able to move the AF point is very help for quickly adapting to situations instead of having to focus and recompose which can get annoying and frustrating with fleeting moments. The customisation of the Q menu is definitely a bonus, allowing photographers to really tailor the camera to their needs, prioritising the features that are most frequently used instead of constantly having to search through menus. I could go through and state the pluses of each new feature upgrade but this webpage explains them all

These are the upgrades that Fujifilm have let us know in advance about, I can only imagine the other ‘goodies’ they have in store in the near future. Logically you would think that the X-E2 could potentially have remote shooting via phones or tablets like the X-T1 and X100T. Both the X-E2 and X-T1 might be able to wirelessly transfer pictures to the SP1 for wireless printing on the go. There are so many features that Fujifilm could add to the ever-increasing list of benefits for using the Fujifilm X-Series. I think the number 1 benefit on this list is that Fujifilm look after their current users, with upgrades such as this.

To look for the latest firmwares updates for your Fujifilm product search here.

Weather resistance in windy Wales

A friend and I decided to go camping in Wales, which perfectly coincided with the passing of the ex-hurricane Bertha! To many this is a bizarre time to choose to go camping, but from a landscape photography perspective, angry weather equals exciting weather.

At the moment I am trying to train myself to only use prime lenses as Fujifilm offers such a wide variety covering lots of helpful focal lengths (the announcement of the XF90mm f2 R and XF16mm f1.4 R being added to the lens roadmap is very exciting). The reason for this is that to me they inspire creativity, using the fixed focal length makes me think more about composition and simply take more time with each picture. However, the thought of changing lenses in high winds and heavy rain atop a cliff wasn’t particularly appealing so the ever-camera-bag-present XF18-135mm came into its own. Having previously used a prototype version of the lens on the Farne Islands (see my initial impressions here) this was the first time I had really put the production version through its paces and I have to say it passed with flying colours.

Because I was generally taking landscape photographs I didn’t miss the wonderful wide aperture capabilities of prime lenses. The other bonus of using the XF18-135mm was the fast auto focus and probably, more importantly, the weather sealing. Once mounted to the X-T1 the weather resistance system left me with one less thing to think about while battling the hazardous conditions.

I wasn’t the only thing out enjoying the powerful winds though, a few fulmar were flying around the cliffs, putting on a very impressive aerial display. This was a great opportunity to try the continuous focus in mirky conditions with a very fast moving subject. Once locked on the keeper rate was very high.

Enjoying the conditions

Fulmar

Target ahead

Fulmar-3

Cliff flyby

Fulmar-2

Fulmar in the scene

Welsh cliffs

The other very helpful feature of the XF18-135mm lens is the 5-stop image stabilisation which proved very helpful in countering the blustery and often dark conditions.

Setting Welsh sun

Welsh sea

Going further against my plan to use only prime lenses, the other lens used extensively was the XF10-24mm R OIS on the X-Pro1. Again I went with the practicality and versatility offered by this wide angle zoom lens. Despite this being a zoom, I loved using it at the ultra wide 10mm end to capture as much of the impressive scenes in front of me as possible.

Incoming shower

Welsh coast

Boisterous waves

Welsh coast-2

Overall it was a great few days for photography, but before you go off camping in inclement weather, make sure you check with others you drag along, as the X-T1 – XF18-135mm set up is weather resistant and ready for anything, but they might not be so obliging.

Fujifilm X Magazine – Issue 1 reader images 3/3

X-series users from across the globe share their finest images and the stories behind them

Here’s another selection of users’ images published in our Fujifilm X Magazine. If you would like to see your images in our magazine, and if you’re an X-series user, we’d love to see your shots. Email your images, along with details of the story behind them and some information about you and your photography to: xmagazine@bright-publishing.com

 

ERALDO MOSTINI – KORNATI

eraldo mostini
Camera: X-E1 Lens: XF55-200 at 128mm
Exposure: 1/800sec at f/14, ISO 200

Eraldo took this shot during the summer on a trip to the Croatian archipelago of Kornati. Attracted by the silhouetted shapes set against the glistening sea, he used his X-E1 and XF55-200mm telezoom lens to capture the scene.

I’m not a professional photographer, but I love using my X-E1 for shooting a wide variety of images,” he says. “It’s so lightweight, and offers an excellent electronic viewfinder that makes framing images really simple.

Picture quality is excellent, as well. I shoot mostly JPEGs, which look great straight out of the camera and the XF55-200mm telezoom delivers impressive levels of sharpness.

PRASHANT BUDHATHOKI – OLD WOMAN

Prashant Budhathoki
Camera: X100S Lens: 23mm fixed
Exposure: 1/1000sec at f/2, ISO 200

As soon as Fujifilm announced the X100S, I put in an order for one and I haven’t been disappointed. The image quality is what I love most, both JPEG and Raw. It’s a great all-rounder and I carry it everywhere with me, whether I’m taking street images or shooting landscapes. Thanks to the X100S, I’ve been able to explore a new side of photography that I was finding hard to achieve with my big DSLR.

This old woman was begging for food in the Pashupatinath area of Kathmandu. I offered her some money and then stayed for a while to take a few shots. I chose to work in Monochrome mode because I wanted to show the age lines on her face. I don’t think shooting in colour would have had the same impact.

PAUL REMMELTS – CHILDHOOD MEMORY

Paul Remmelts
Camera: X-Pro1 Lens: XF 35mm f/1.4R
Exposure: 1/340sec at f/3.2, ISO 200

I went to a local park and spotted this boy burning his name into a piece of wood with a magnifying glass. It reminded me of my own childhood, so I asked if I could take his picture. Having the X-Pro1 puts people at ease – because it’s smaller than a digital SLR, my subjects seem to be more relaxed.

Photographs like this always start with a conversation, then I just work with what is around me at the time. It’s hard to say where my ideas come from specifically, it’s just what feels right at the time.

Before I got the X-Pro1, I had an X100. It took great pictures, but I prefer the handling of the X-Pro1 and I’ve even used it for some of my commercial projects.

http://paulremmelts.tumblr.com/

Focusing with the X-Pro1 and X100S using the OVF

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By V. Opoku

I shoot fujifilm exclusively; I use two X-Pro 1’s and a X100s for my wedding work and travels. This set up works for me, however there was a learning curve involved, as the concept of these X-Series cameras were different from the D-SLR’s that I was used to.

The biggest challenge I faced was learning how these cameras acquired focus, I spent hours online seeking relevant information and even more time applying what I read and testing things out. YES, they actually do focus, they just do it differently to my old D700 and a friend’s 5D2 I had right next to it for comparison.

As a result of the information I gathered and my personal experience over the last 8 months, I decided to put this article together and I hope that fellow X-Series users out there and those considering buying one of these cameras might find it useful, especially in regards to focus accuracy.

Like ZACK ARIAS, I believe that the Optical Viewfinder is a big deal on these cameras. The hybrid viewfinder is innovative and each mode serves a purpose, i.e for close ups where the Electronic Viewfinder is the better option. Nevertheless, I find myself using the Optical Viewfinder 90% of the time, I truly love it. The focus on this article will be focusing with these cameras (X-Pro 1 & X100s) with the Optical Viewfinder.

PARALLAX:

“The effect whereby the position of a object appears to differ when viewed from different positions. In this case, the different positions are the lenswhich is at the centre of the camera and the viewfinder window which is to the left and above the  centre of the camera.

 

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-01

 

VIEWFINDER WINDOW:

We have established that the viewfinder window is positioned to the left and above the centre of the camera, thus being positioned to the left and above the lens.

The viewfinder window (when in optical mode) is designed to have a larger Field Of View than whatever lens you attach to the camera body. Because the Field Of View of the viewfinder is larger than the Field Of View of the lens, you are able to see things that are outside your frame and not just what is inside it – the OVF is under inclusive.

 

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-02

CORRECTED AF FRAME:

 

The different positioning of the viewfinder window and the lens means that we have to overcome parallax when it comes to nailing our focus. To aid us in doing so, these Fuji X-Series cameras have a brilliant tool called “Corrected AF Frame” ; this is optional but I strongly suggest that you turn it ON and leave it ON.

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-03

 

BOX 1 : Represents the focus frame at infinity – This is where the OVF will naturally perceives focus to be.

BOX 2 : Represents the focus frame at the OVF’s minimum focus distance – the closest the OVF can focus before it hits the macro range. (This is about 2.6ft for the X-Pro 1 and about 1.6ft for the X100s)

This is how I have the Optical Viewfinder (OVF) set up in all three of my cameras:

 

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-04

 

My custom OVF displays have quite a lot of information overlay which I have become used to, however for the rest of this article, I will “turn off” most of these information and only “leave on” those which I believe are relevant to acquiring focus with these X-Series  cameras.

 

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-05

 

We are now left with a much cleaner looking OVF, with just the Focus Frame at infinity (BOX 1) and Corrected AF Frame (BOX 2) as well as  theDistance indicator on.

The distance indicator is pretty useful since the distance of our subject is used to calculate the amount of parallax compensation that is needed between the viewfinder window and the lens. So having an idea of how far or close our subject is can help us to acquire our desired point of focus with greater accuracy.

 

THE ESSENTIALS:

1. Due to the different positioning of the OVF and the lens, they naturally see focus at different points.

2. However, the camera has ONLY ONE REAL FOCUS BOX, which shows up at different locations within the OVF.

3. When we turn Corrected AF Frame on, the two boxes (BOX 1 & BOX 2) that shows up in the OVF represents the RANGE within which the REAL FOCUS BOX could be.

4. The RANGE  within which the REAL FOCUS BOX can be is BETWEEN infinity (BOX 1) and the focus frame  at the OVF’s minimum focus distance (BOX 2)

5. The RANGE for the X-pro 1 is infinity and 2.6ft

6. The RANGE for the X100s is infinity and 1.6ft

 

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-06

 

 

7. When we press the shutter down halfway to auto focus, the camera calculates the distance of our subject and a GREEN BOX appears diagonally between the RANGE.

8. This GREEN BOX is the REAL FOCUS BOX.

9. Exactly where the REAL FOCUS BOX appears within this RANGE depends on the DISTANCE of our subject – in other words, where the REAL FOCUS BOX appears between BOX 1 and BOX 2 depends on how far or near our subject is.

 

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-07

 

The GREEN BOX is the REAL FOCUS BOX – this is the actual point where the camera focuses the lens, and it will be located slightly below and to the right of where the viewfinder window perceives focus to be.

Remember that the viewfinder window and the lens are positioned at different locations –  and even though we are seeing our subject through the viewfinder window, we want our final image to be how the lens sees our subject. 

We want the focus point of the image we capture be where the lens focuses – the GREEN BOX is our parallax compensated FOCUS BOX, it sees our subject how the lens sees it, hence why it is the REAL FOCUS BOX.

The RED BOX (RANGE BOX) is solely for the purpose of this article and it will not show up in the camera.

Here is the same image as above but without the range box:

 

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-08

The distance of our subject is what determines where the REAL FOCUS BOX appears within our RANGE ; the distance indicator tells us how far or near our subject is, therefore knowing our subject distance is useful.

 

 

Let’s assume with an X-Pro 1 + the 35mm lens, when we press the shutter halfway, the camera calculated that our subject was 5ft away, and where the REAL FOCUS BOX  has shown up in the illustrations of this article is a representation of that, so where the GREEN BOX has appeared between the RANGE so far is because our subject is 5ft away from us.

What if our subject was 3.6ft or 12ft away? Where between the RANGE will the GREEN BOX appear?

 

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-09

 

With our subject at 5ft away, the GREEN BOX appears relatively central between BOX 1 and BOX 2.

With our subject at 3.6ft away, the GREEN BOX appears down to the right, away from BOX 1 much closer to BOX 2.

With our subject at 12ft away, the GREEN BOX appears further up and to the left, away from BOX 2 and much closer to BOX 1.

This demonstrates that the GREEN BOX moves diagonally between BOX 1 & BOX 2 ; and exactly where it appears between these two boxes depends on the distance of our subject.

 

What happens if our subject is further than 12ft away or closer to us than 3.6ft?

 

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-10

 

With our subject at 30ft away, the REAL FOCUS BOX will show up within BOX 1.

At 2.6ft away, the REAL FOCUS BOX will show up within BOX 2.

Why does the REAL FOCUS BOX appear within BOX 1 & BOX 2 at these extreme distances? Beacause :

BOX 1 : Represents the focus frame at infinity.

BOX 2 : Represents the focus frame at the OVF’s minimum focus distance – which is is 2.6ft for the X-Pro 1.

Remember the RANGE BOX? let’s go back to it:

 

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-06

 

The REAL FOCUS BOX can appear anywhere within the RANGE BOX – the GREEN BOX can appear anywhere between BOX 1 & BOX 2.

When our subject is further way, i.e 30ft from us, parallax is not an issue and the couple of inches between where the viewfinder window naturally perceives focus to be and where the lens naturally perceives focus to be is meaningless.

So with subjects further away, the REAL FOCUS BOX is more or less identical to BOX 1; the viewfinder window and the lens perceives the same REAL FOCUS POINT at far distances,  that is why the GREEN BOX  appears within BOX 1.

 

If our subject is much closer i.e 3.6ftparallax becomes an issue and the couple of inches between where the viewfinder window naturally perceives focus to be and where the lens naturally perceives focus to be now matters; however at such a close distance, parallax is so great that you are better of switching to the Electronic Viewfinder.

If our subject was 2.6ft from us, the REAL FOCUS BOX is more or less identical to BOX 2, this is the closets the OVF can focus before it hits the macro range,  but parallax is great at this distance so use the EVF! The camera automatically switches to the EVF when one uses the macro function.

If our subject is at a midrange distance, i.e 5ft from us the REAL FOCUS BOX appears at the appropriate area between the RANGE BOX.

 

SUMMARY:

The camera’s viewfinder window and lens are positioned at different locations and as a result we have parallax.

The camera has only one real focus box, when you turn on Correct AF Frame, two boxes shows up in the OVF.

These two boxes represents focus at infinity and the OVF’s minimum focus distance – this gives us the range within which the real focus box can show up once the shutter is pressed halfway.

The distance of our subject determines  exactly where within the range that the real focus box appears.

When the shutter is pressed halfway, the camera calculates the distance of our subject, compensates for parallax and shows us where the REAL FOCUS is.

 

This same principle applies to any of the 25 different focus points that we can chose from in the middle 2/3rd of the OVF’s frame.

 

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-11

 

I used the middle focus point throughout this article for simplicity, however, this is how things should look when we select other focus points:

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-12

 

MOVING FRAMELINE:

When we press the shutter down halfway, the camera calculates the distance of our subject and compensates for parallax for both the focus frame and the frameline – this gives us an accurate representation of how the lens sees everything.

 

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-15

 

How much the frameline moves  down and to the right depends on the distance of our subject.

For a subject far away, i.e 20ft, the frameline moves very little, in fact if our subject is beyond 20ft, i.e 30ft, the frameline doesn’t move at all. The closer our subject is, the greater the movement of the frame line.

The closer our subject is to us, the greater the parallax, hence the greater movement of the frameline ; the further our subject is away from us, there minor the parallax, hence the little movement of the frameline.

 

DIFFERENT LENSES:

Each lens has a different Field Of View, however, the Field Of View of the Optical Viewfinder will always be larger than that of the lens attached to the camera. This is the same for the X100 and X100s albeit with a fixed 23mm lens.

 

FUJIFILM OVF FINAL-13

 

CAVEAT:

The Framelines, are an approximation and just like the Corrected AF Frame and the Distance indicator, it is a tool to aid us. It might take some time getting used to it, but it is totally worth it and will become second nature in due time. The OVF is pure joy to use!

Here is a small selection of images taken under various conditions using the OVF:

V.

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Why sensor size is more important than the sheer number of megapixels

This video explains the benefits of larger camera sensors such as the 2/3inch EXR-CMOS II in our compact X20 and XQ1 cameras and the APS-C sized sensor used in our X100S and Compact System Cameras.

FUJINON XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens test

Sample 4
200mm setting, 1/2000sec at f/6.4, ISO 320
At the 200mm setting, the lens can produce frame-filling shots from the side of a track. This was taken in a public area through a mesh fence

FUJINON XF lenses are all about quality. Quality of build, quality of performance, quality of results. With prime (single focal length) lenses, quality is to be expected by virtue of their more simple optical construction. But good results are less of a foregone conclusion when it comes to zooms. Until recently, the XF55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R was the only telezoom in the Fujinon line up. It’s since been joined by the XC50-230mm f/4.5-6.7, which was launched alongside the X-A1 and is designed for mid-range X-brand models. But the XF55-200mm remains top dog by virtue of its faster maximum aperture and more solid build, making it the perfect accompaniment to the X-E and X-Pro models. We tested the lens on the latter model.

Sample 1
141mm setting, 1/1250sec at f/5, ISO 320
No problems with vibrant colours, and the level of detail is impressive, as is the car!

The first thing you’ll notice about the XF55-200mm is its impressive build quality. It looks and feels as though it’s built to stand the rigours of daily use and feels reassuringly solid in every aspect of construction. The zoom collar is both large and very smooth to use, while the manual focusing ring at the end of the lens and the aperture ring near the body are both well sized and a real pleasure to control. It comes supplied with a deep lens hood to keep a tight control on flare, plus there’s a switch to turn Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) on and off, alongside the automatic or manual aperture control switch. The OIS is worthy of note. Offering up to 4.5 stops of compensation, we found that even at the 200mm setting, we were able to shoot with shutter speeds around 1/20sec without any evidence of camera shake.

Sample 2
164mm setting, 1/20sec at f/4.6, ISO 400
Optical Image Stabilisation is excellent, this shot was taken at 1/20sec but there’s no hint of blur

With the XF55-200mm attached to the X-Pro1, the combination is neither heavy nor bulky – it’s fine to sling over your shoulder while you’re out for a walk, plus the zoom action is constructed in such a way that there’s no zoom creep, even with the lens pointed down.

A focal range equivalent to 84-305mm on a 35mm camera means the lens offers plenty of versatility. We used it for a wide range of subjects, from portraits through to sporting action. The focusing proved accurate and the out-of-focus areas were lovely and smooth thanks to the seven-blade aperture diaphragm.

Sample 3
200mm setting, 1/120sec at f/4.8, ISO 400
Regardless of focal length setting, the lens delivers high-quality results. You can count every hair in this dog’s fur

The real beauty of the lens, though, is in the quality of the results. In keeping with the Fujinon XF philosophy, the resulting images display impressive levels of sharpness thanks to the combination of high-quality optics and the X-Pro1’s wonderful X-Trans sensor. The lens also showed great consistency through the focal range and aperture settings. Whether you’re shooting wide open at 55mm or stopped down at 200mm, you can be confident of getting great results every time.

Lens tested by Roger Payne

Using Film Simulation modes

Fujifilm still produces colour negative and reversal film for enthusiasts and this legacy continues to have a place in the digital arena – with the X-series of cameras giving you an option to select from a variety of Film Simulation modes.

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In essence, the Film Simulation modes enable you to decide on the look of your image in terms of colour saturation and contrast, or simply lose colour altogether and go for a black & white effect. The beauty is, the camera does it all for you. All you have to do is decide what look you want for the image you’re shooting.

The standard Film Simulation options in all X-series cameras are Provia, Velvia, Astia, Monochrome (black & white) and Sepia. However, some models include PRO Neg Hi, PRO Neg Standard, and filters for the Monochrome mode.

You’ll find the options by going into the Shooting Menu and looking in the first set of controls. It’s the same tab where ISO, Image Quality and Image Size are set, just scroll further down. It’s impossible to tell you exactly which Film Simulation to use for a given situation because it’s all a matter of taste, but we can give you some pointers. If you just want a general setting because you shoot a wide range of subjects then stick with Provia; Fujifilm has chosen it as its standard setting. But if you prefer a richer, punchier look, perhaps for landscapes or nature, then Velvia will give you exactly that. Astia, on the other hand, offers a softer, more subtle rendition of colours, so would work well for portraits.

Select Film Simulation in the Shooting Menu
Step 1 Select Film Simulation in the Shooting Menu
Select Film Simulation Mode
Step 2 Choose the Film Simulation Mode you would like to use

The Monochrome and Sepia Film Simulation options do exactly what they say on the tin. Monochrome will work for most subjects and gives your image a timeless feel. Sepia should probably be used more sparingly but can certainly work well at retro events when you want to give a portrait or a scene a classic old-school appearance. If your camera has the two PRO Neg options these are best for shooting portraits: Standard expands the hues available for skin tones and is intended for studio work, while Hi gives a slightly more contrasty look and is fine-tuned for outdoor portraits.

Film Simulation bracketing

Experimentation is key with the Film Simulation modes and Fujifilm has actually made this really easy on most X-series models thanks to Film Simulation Bracketing. This is found directly beneath Film Simulation in the Shooting Menu and is perfect for when you want to play around and work out what kind of image you like or if you’re simply feeling indecisive. Exactly how it’s set varies from camera to camera but here’s how it’s done on the X-Pro1…

Setting up Film Simulation Bracketing
Step 1 In the Shooting Menu, choose Film Simulation Bracketing and select three different film styles in any order you want. For example, for Film 1 you could select Astia, Film 2 Velvia, and Film 3 Monochrome, as we have here.
Selecting Film Simulation Bracketing in Drive Menu
Step 2 With these selected, press the Drive button on the back of your camera. Scroll down and activate Film Simulation bracketing (BKT). Now with one press of the shutter release, the camera saves three versions of the image.

TIP: If you shoot in RAW+JPEG mode, you can preview and shoot with the Film Simulation mode you have selected, but the original RAW file will also be saved. You can revert to standard or even change the Film Simulation mode using the RAW File Converter built into the camera itself.